Starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Lowe, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper; directed by Jake Kasdan; R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use; 90 minutes; D+
The cinematic equivalent of herpes, "Sex Tape" is an uncomfortable embarrassment to raunchy comedies everywhere. Fortunately, no medication is required after being exposed to it: The effects are not permanent, only painful.
Two of the movie's three writers (Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller) have collaborated on a couple of good movies ("The Five-Year Engagement," "The Muppets"). Segel also wrote the even funnier "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," while Stoller directed. Where did things go so horribly wrong with "Sex Tape"? Did the infection stem from the inclusion of writer No. 3, Kate Angelo, responsible for the dreadful J-Lo movie "The Back Up Plan"? Hard to say.
The basic premise is solid: Married couple Annie and Jay try to jump-start their sex life by making a pornographic video that inadvertently ends up on the iPads of friends and family. Stars Segel and Cameron Diaz have made reliably funny movies in the past. Even the supporting cast - which includes Rob Lowe as the outwardly cleancut CEO who wants to hire Annie as a sort of spokesperson for his family-oriented company - is more than capable of producing laughs.
But everything about "Sex Tape" feels off: the comic timing, the pacing, the jokes, the fact that Diaz and Segel play their college-age selves. Even the editing is choppy, the explanations of how the video got synced to everyone else's iPad clumsy and repetitive. The result is a movie that feels thrown together haphazardly. Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald